The Island of São Tomé is located about 500 km west of the coast of Africa. Its marine fauna is one of the least known in the world. Here
we present preliminary results of our field work carried out from Feb. 04 to 17 2006. The first quantitative descriptions of fish and benthic
communities of São Tomé reefs were based on 125 transects of fish visual censuses and a 100 benthic photoquadrats. We also
collected tissues and voucher specimens of about 45 species and took more than 500 photos. Among fish, the most important trophic
group was the planktivores, followed by mobile invertebrate feeders. Richness per unit area is comparable to sites along the Brazilian
coast. We updated the checklist of the coastal fishes, including 59 new records. Hard coral cover varied from 0.5 to 30% with a mean of
8.7%. Some signs of impact of reef fisheries were detected: 1) the observation of few larger sized fish, especially sharks, groupers and
snappers; 2) the presence of old nets and nylon lines in the reefs; 3) the presence of small sized fish in the market, including small
parrotfishes. This scenario occurs even in the absence of industrial fisheries and with the apparent lack of use of explosives or
bottom-trawling activities. It is worrisome that even low profile artisanal fisheries could be impacting the reef system in São Tomé. The
need for the establishment of marine protected areas in order to secure the future sustainability of reef fisheries is evident.

Wirtz, P. 2008. Grande angular: São Tomé & Príncipe. National Geographic Portugal. Abril 2008. {PDF} 

National Geographic Brasil. Julho 2008 {PDF}

NGS Research Report {PDF}

São Tomé na Folha de São Paulo {PDF}